The Role of the Safavids in the Ages of the holy shrines in Iraq1501-1736


  • Prof. Dr. Misheal Mfarih Dahir


         Safavid interest in the holy places in Iraq dates back to the beginning of the sixteenth century AD. This was after Shah Ismail I established the Safavid state in 1501 AD. And he adopted the twelve (Jaafari) sect as the official doctrine of his nascent state, and there is no doubt that the Shah fully understood from the beginning the extent of the religious influence on his followers and its reflection on the strength of his nascent state, so Iraq was of special importance to him and his followers, especially since his state was built on a sectarian basis So it was necessary to annex Iraq, whose territory includes the shrines of a number of the twelve imams from the Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them, where the shrine of Imam Ali - peace be upon him - is in the most honorable Najaf, the shrines of Imam Hussein and his brother Abbas, peace be upon them both, in the holy Karbala, and the shrines of the two imams Musa Al-Kadhim and Muhammad Al-Jawad, upon them both. Peace be in Baghdad, and in Samarra, there is the shrine of the two imams, Ali al-Hadi and al-Hasan al-Askari, peace be upon them both.

     And after Shah Ismail I, the Safavid, was able to annex Iraq in 1508, he hastened to rebuild the holy shrines and urged his followers to do everything in their power to protect and develop them. Rather, they gave generously to her, to her custodianship, and to her neighbors, and all their rulers followed their approach to take care of those holy cities in Iraq. Rather, their ministers, their statesmen, and their women from the princesses of the Safavid house, until the sacred shrines appeared, masterpieces of art unparalleled in their era, and most of the planning for the ages of those thresholds And its expansions are mainly due to what the Safavids began to rebuild it, as they were the first to go to it and put domes on it, cover the shrines, build doors and corridors, and put gilded boxes on their sacred shrines .                     

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2023-09-01 — Updated on 2023-09-02